BOSTON — (Staff report with Recap from The Sports Xchange) – Drew Pomeranz pitched another strong game and Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit two-run homers, powering the Boston Red Sox to their fifth straight win, a 4-1 decision over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night.
Pomeranz (11-4) won his fifth straight decision, spanning 10 starts, with 6 1/3 innings of seven-hit ball. He gave up a homer to Tim Anderson on the second pitch of the game and settled in and allowed only singles through the rest of his outing. He hasn’t lost since June 11 and the 11 wins match the career high he set last season.
Benintendi and Bradley connected off James Shields (2-4) in the first and second innings, respectively. Shields went on to work six innings in falling to 9-14 lifetime against the Red Sox. He came in with an ERA of 9.00 over his previous five starts. The last-place White Sox ran into outs on the bases each of the last three innings while losing for the 22nd time in their last 26 games.
Blaine Boyer relieved Pomeranz and was the beneficiary of the first two baserunning mistakes. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 26th save of the season, picking Leury Garcia off first after he hit him with a pitch leading off the inning. The pitching effort lowered the Red Sox staff ERA to 3.68, best in the league. Since June 26th, Boston has a 3.14 ERA while the club has won 30 of their last 33 games when they score four runs.
The win was the Red Sox fifth consecutive victory and marked the club’s best stretch since winning six straight at the end of June through the 4th of July. The victory was Boston’s 35th at Fenway Park to bring their home record to (35-20), (.636), best in the American League.
Anderson started the game with his 10th homer of the season, one more than he hit last season as a rookie. It was his third career leadoff homer, two of them coming this year.
Third baseman Tyler Saladino misplayed Brock Holt’s one-out grounder in the bottom of the inning and Benintendi crushed his 13th of the year over the Red Sox bullpen to put Boston ahead 2-1. It was Benintendi’s 15th career home but his first at home against an American League team.
Mitch Moreland, who won Friday’s game with an 11th-inning homer, doubled with one out in the second and rode home when Bradley, batting ninth, delivered a home run on a 3-2 pitch — also his 13th.
NOTES: Red Sox LHP Chris Sale, talking to Chicago media about his former team, said, “They could be pretty darn good here in a few years.” … The Red Sox activated RHP Joe Kelly (hamstring) from the 10-day disabled list and optioned RHP Austin Maddox back to Triple-A Pawtucket. … RHP Reynaldo Lopez, the White Sox’s top prospect, could be recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to start Friday night. GM Rick Hahn said Lopez will pitch in the minors Sunday and a decision will be made Tuesday. … Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (knee) is expected to come off the DL Tuesday, his first day eligible. … Boston DH/1B Hanley Ramirez (oblique) was out and is day-to-day while C Sandy Leon (knee) is set for his first start in eight games Sunday. … RHPs Mike Pelfrey (Chicago) and Doug Fister (Boston) are a combined 4-14 as they face each other Sunday. Pelfrey is 3-9 and Fister is 1-5 and coming off ending his personal 10-game losing streak. … Former Red Sox pitcher and MLB Cy Young award winner Roger Clemens was on hand and was promoting a charity effort to pitch batting practice to raise money for the upcoming Jimmy Fund program to fight cancer. Bidding for the promotion was up to $41,000 dollars for nine friends to take BP against Clemens at Fenway.